Not only are humans responsible for the anthropogenic causes of currently observed climate change, but we are also responsible for our responses to climate change. How we choose to respond provides important insights into our ability to collectively act in the face of threats with the unique characteristics of climate change. This communication attempts to provide an overview of some of the difficulties in forging new policy directions along our coastlines in an era of climate change. It is meant as a referential framing for the research presented in this Special Issue. As this communication is being written, the world is gripped by a global pandemic caused by a variant of the coronavirus. There are important corollaries between the underlying characteristics of the coronavirus and the causes and effects of climate change. Seeing how the global citizenry is responding to the current epidemic provides some insight into the difficulties in fostering collective action towards climate change. As with the pandemic, the issue is not really one of understanding the problem, but rather the varying human responses to the problem. We can expect the same difficulties as we continue to confront the ever-growing problem of climate change.
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